Sat Eye Candy: Johnny Cash

WE BLOW OUT A CANDLE FOR THE MAN IN BLACK

If he were still with us Johnny Cash would have turned 77 last Thursday, February 26. As it is, he's been gone almost six years. Yet he remains hauntingly present, floating inside American music like a demon-angel Principality, inspiring musicians and helping the rest of us make sense of it all. There's a level of unvarnished understanding, self-awareness and common man empathy in Cash's work that's staggering. As flatly enjoyable as so much of his catalog can be, it's the sitting-alone-in-quiet-hours stuff that settles Johnny in our hearts. The struggles and failures of his life, chronicled in songs that will live on long past him, are now part of mankind's tool kit for dealing with our own foibles, our own stumbling and missteps. There is also riotous pleasure in spots and no-good mischief, too. Few artists' body of work reflect such a fully shaped person, neither all good or all bad, and thus as true a portrait of a real man as one could hope to find. We miss you, Johnny. That, sir, is the God's honest truth.


Let's hop aboard one of the most famous trains any man ever built and see where it takes us.


He was rarely more lively than when he sang with his wife June Carter Cash. You try not to be charmed by this devil!


Cash performed behind bars multiple times, and it's hard to imagine a contemporary star doing the same. There's something fundamentally dangerous (and undeniably cool) about the setting, the lyrics and his delivery here.


His television show featured many luminaries including Louis Armstrong, who played on the original 1930 Jimmie Rodgers recording of "Blue Yodel No. 9," reprised here with Cash.


As the American Recordings series illustrates, Cash had a way of making other people's songs his own, never more so than his pal Kris Kristofferson's bleary, weary anthem.


He cuts quite the image at the Opry in 1962 on one of his signature tunes.


With all the Leonard Cohen buzz in the air it only seemed right to bring out this terrific, bruised rendition from Johnny.


The Man In Black really understood human weakness and frailty better than most, as evidenced by this heartbreaking take on Nick Lowe's brutal self-reflective killer.


What's not to love about this loosey-goosey version of "Polk Salad Annie" with Tony Joe White?


One of Cash's more memorable pairings was with a young Minnesota boy who thought the world of him. Here's the pair in the studio. They're both so young you just wanna pinch their cheeks!


Here's "Ghost Riders" at the Montreux Jazz Fest in 1994. Cool arrangement, same he uses with Willie Nelson on the excellent VH1 Storytellers album.


A guest spot on Colombo in 1974 finds Cash playing gospel-pop star Tommy Brown. This is priceless!


We conclude this remembrance with a snippet of Bob and Johnny duetting on a sadly appropriate number. Some folks you never get over missing.


And don't forget, you can eyeball video sweetness 24/7 with JamBase TV.

http://www.johnnycash.com/

[Published on: 2/28/09]

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Comments

redhed starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 06:03AM
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redhed

The Man In Black was the original badass. May he rest in peace.

deadpig79 Sat 2/28/2009 07:01AM
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deadpig79

i still do a shot everytime i hear a J.C. song in a bar! heres to you johnny!

SlaveTotheDarkStar starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 07:04AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

SlaveTotheDarkStar

Johnny is probably the best badass, mostly because he's a badass who had (although probably mockery) class. These new-school badasses got no respect for shit.

Chaloupka starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 08:10AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Chaloupka

Best Saturday Eye Candy ever! Thank you Jambase!

Bar Bluten Kat starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 08:25AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Bar Bluten Kat

I think this is one of the few things all of the jambase community can agree on, long live Johnny Cash!

futhepharmer starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 08:27AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

futhepharmer

I do a bar in a shot every time I even hear someone mention the hallowed JC name (notice how I used initials here, I'm at work and everytime I break out the mini-bar in the cubical I have to share). What a mad, mad ban. I mean what a bad, bad man. JC put the ASS in Badass. He put the con in icon. I don't even know what I'm talking about now. where's that bar?

futhepharmer starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 08:30AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

futhepharmer

Don't get me wrong, nothin' but mad respect for the Man in Black.

lovemusical Sat 2/28/2009 08:59AM
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Simply the best. RIP

brooklynite84 Sat 2/28/2009 09:05AM
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I was just listening to "Live at Folsom Prison" the other day...One of my all time favorites. Johnny Cash is the greatest songwriter of all time in my mind with Dylan taking a good second place...but then again maybe Woody Guthrie would have to be second...I just love Cash's language. He's such an icon. Thanx Jambase for the videos, especially the last one with Dylan, since they both admired each other (I don't blame them). Two of the greatest of the greats playing together.

salmon401 starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 09:10AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

salmon401

That VH1 album referenced in the clips is great, Willie and JC. His version of Hurt always gets me a little teary eyed.

shutupkids starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 10:25AM
Show -6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
shutupkids starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 12:39PM
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shutupkids starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 12:39PM
Show -6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
shutupkids starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 12:40PM
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CrazyGWebber starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 02:52PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

CrazyGWebber

I wish shutupkids ,would shut up,I going to the show too ,But Johnny is one of the best singer ,song writer ever.great videos

shutupkids starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 03:18PM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
WidespreadPhanic Sat 2/28/2009 03:32PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

WidespreadPhanic

He is not "infinitely more talented and important" than "phish crap." But he's still the man, for sure. RIP.

irtimed starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 05:16PM
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irtimed

I'm still convinced that the best stuff he did were his last few albums.

Deadphishbiscuits Sat 2/28/2009 05:45PM
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Deadphishbiscuits

They dont make em like this anymore thats for sure

21mmer starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 06:27PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

21mmer

thank you, thank you for remembering a musical legend. the original man in black is one of the true greats. love the footage of him doing 'sunday morning coming down'....always one of my favorite tunes cash sang.

LiveAtByron starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/28/2009 07:25PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

LiveAtByron

Thank you for reminding us that Johnny Cash is still the Man in Black. Rest in Peace.

gregboyer starstarstarstarstar Sun 3/1/2009 03:19PM
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Very nice selection of videos, thank you Jambase. No matter how fucked up life can get there's nothing that some Johnny Cash and Guinness can't make better.

nomemory starstarstarstarstar Sun 3/1/2009 05:09PM
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nomemory

great videos, it was way cool to see louis and bob play with the man in black. we will miss him, but I'm thankful that he lead a long life, and was able to find his true soul mate, and close friends. That's what it's all about.

MyFavBandIsTheBestYoursSucks starstarstarstarstar Mon 3/2/2009 10:16AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

MyFavBandIsTheBestYoursSucks

"Yet he remains hauntingly present, floating inside American music like a demon-angel Principality, inspiring musicians and helping the rest of us make sense of it all".... I couldnt have it better. Very Nice!

Parsonsgoggles starstarstarstarstar Mon 3/2/2009 02:53PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Parsonsgoggles

The man in black is still the coolest thing around, and if you're not down you can kiss my arse!